Baked BBQ Chicken and Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

I can eat barbecue any time of year no matter what the weather is like outside. If it’s a hot summer day, we’ll often have the grill fired up cooking up something for dinner. If it’s a cold winter’s day and there’s a blizzard, we’ll often have the grill fired up ….well maybe not every blizzard, but you get the drift.

Today I decided to give Kevin a break on grilling, and I baked some barbecue chicken thighs. Yes, I know, it doesn’t have that smoky, delicious taste that you get from slow cooking BBQ over charcoal, but it’s still my barbecue sauce, and that’s half the game anyway. And it made me think of summer and how it can’t get here soon enough.

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I’ve been making this barbecue sauce ever since Kevin and I have been married. I’ve posted a recipe below, but to be honest, I haven’t followed it in years. Yes, it has the basic ingredients and approximate amounts (because one time I actually did measure everything as I went), but I’ve always made it “to taste.” Melt a pat of butter, add in some ketchup, mustard, garlic powder and other stuff – stir and taste. And taste and stir until I get just the right combination. Then I let it simmer to reduce just a bit, usually timing it to when Kevin needs it to slather on the chicken or ribs or whatever else he’s decided to barbecue for dinner. Feel free to adjust any of the ingredients to suit your family’s taste. If you like it spicier, add in more hot pepper sauce or be a bit more adventurous withe horseradish. Or kick up the amount of brown sugar and molasses for a sweeter taste. However you make it, it’s barbecue, and dinnertime tastes a whole lot better because of it.

I’ve named the recipe after my husband’s nickname simply because he first made it for me when we were dating. However, I make the BBQ sauce now (after tweaking his recipe).


baked bbq chicken 2


baked bbq chicken plated 2


Woodrow’s Barbecue Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup ketchup

1/8 to 1/4 cup prepared mustard

2 dashes Lawry’s seasoned salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon molasses

1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish

2 to 3 dashes hot pepper sauce


Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add remaining ingredients, stirring well to dissolve brown sugar. Cook over low heat until hot and thick-do not boil. Adjust spices to taste.  Remove from the heat and use immediately, or store in the refrigerator.

Yield:  Approximately 1 cup


Baking Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place skinless, boneless chicken thighs in the pan. Cover liberally with barbecue sauce. Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.



I also made a spinach salad to go along side the BBQ chicken – nothing fancy, but I wanted to get some kind of greens on the table. This goes together fast, and you can use your favorite dressing with it. Tonight I decided to make a honey balsamic vinaigrette, which is tasty with just a hint of spicy kick to it. Word of caution about this dressing: do not substitute olive oil that has been infused with garlic for the garlic cloves and olive oil. If you think you can kill two birds with one stone by doing this, you’re more likely to run off any vampires within a 5-mile radius. I did this boo-boo once (and only once). My family and I love garlic, but that was garlic overload 101. Just stick to the 2 cloves of garlic and the EVOO, and you’ll be just fine.

spinach salad


Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the Salad:

1 package fresh spinach

4 ounces slivered almonds

4 ounces dried cranberries

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

honey balsamic vinaigrette

For the Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 small onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon white sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


For the salad, wash and dry the spinach leaves. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and toss to combine.

For the salad dressing, add all the vinaigrette ingredients except for the olive oil to a blender. Puree on high until blended, and then slowly add the olive oil. Continue blending for about 2 minutes, or until thick. Use right away, or chill until ready to serve. You can drizzle this over the entire salad, or you can pass the Mason jar at the table and let everyone add their own amount of dressing.

spinach salad with vinaigrette 2

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Asian Chicken Slaw

I love salads, and I’ll make them year-round. Of course, summertime is when I make the most because I can walk out back to the garden and pick fresh lettuce, spinach and other spring veggies to get my salad fix. But today is February 24, and it’s a cold and windy day here in Iowa. No fresh veggies outside, but my salad craving was in high gear. I turned to Pinterest (as usual) to find something that sounded delicious yet easy to throw together that would both take care of my desire for salad and serve as a main dish for dinner.

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I stumbled across an Asian chicken salad on Reluctant Entertainer. It called for packaged coleslaw mix, cranberries and rotisserie chicken, ingredients I could easily find in my small-town grocery store. Using a premade slaw mix is a super time saver, but you could easily make your own by shredded some green and purple cabbage and adding in some shredded carrots. I made a few other modifications to the recipe (omitted the cilantro because some family members aren’t big fans). It’s a salad – not rocket science – and you can change ingredients however you wish to suit your family’s tastes.

Asian chicken slaw


Asian Chicken Slaw

2 small bags of coleslaw mix (about 12 cups)
4 cups rotisserie chicken, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups toasted sliced almonds
8 ounces dried cranberries
3/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups chopped cilantro
1/4 cup black sesame seeds
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


Layer the cabbage in a large bowl with chicken, almonds, cranberries, red onion, sesame seeds, and fresh cilantro.

Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, honey, ginger and sesame oil in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Process until smooth.

Lightly pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss; serve.

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Sesame Chicken Thighs and Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole

Sometimes a home cook needs a little help getting dinner on the table. Since I work from home, I’m always looking for quick recipes and dishes that allow me to make something homemade for my family that don’t take too much time to prepare. And sometimes work gets in the way, and I need a little help speeding up the process.


While I definitely prefer to make everything from scratch, sometimes time doesn’t always allow me to do so, and I turn to ready-made sauces from the store. Shortcuts I’ve found that my family likes are the cooking sauces from Campbell’s. Yes, I know I could make these sauces from scratch, but when you’re pressed for time but you still want a home-cooked meals, these sauces have been a real time-saver for me. We’ve tried the slow cooker Tavern Style Pot Roast and the slow cooker Apple Bourbon Pulled Pork, and we really like both of these. Last night I tried the skillet Sesame Chicken sauce, and instead of cooking the chicken on the stove, I used the sauce as a baking sauce. It was pretty good. The family said they liked it and would eat it again. I think I’ll kick it up a notch in the spice category next time, but overall, it was a win for dinner.

sesame chicken thighs 2


Baked Sesame Chicken Thighs

1 package Campbell’s Skillet Sauces Sesame Chicken

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place the chicken thighs in the dish, and cover the thighs completely with the sesame chicken sauce. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 50 minutes until the juices run clear, or until the internal temperature of the chicken thighs reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving to let the juices return to the meat.


I did, however, make a homemade veggie casserole to go with the sesame chicken. I decided it was time to start working on the frozen veggies that I put up last summer to make some room for what I hope will be a successful gardening season this year. We try to grow broccoli and cauliflower each year, and I had a few packages left in the freezer that needed using. Cheese goes great with just about any vegetable, and this is a casserole I often make when I’m craving broccoli or cauliflower. Of course, you can use just one or the other, but I like to combine them. You can omit or adjust the mustard powder if you wish (or substitute a little prepared horseradish) if you don’t like the spice, but I like a cheese sauce with a little bit of kick, and the mustard powder provides this.

cheesy broccoli and cauliflower casserole



Cheesy Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole

2 packages of frozen mixed broccoli and cauliflower

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups milk

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

Salt and black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add the frozen vegetables to the baking dish.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the flour to the saucepan, and stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes to make a light colored (tan) roux. This will help thicken your sauce. Once you’ve reached a tan-colored roux, add the milk, cheese and mustard powder to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Taste and season with salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the broccoli and cauliflower.

Bake casserole at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 50 minutes, or until the cheese sauce is nice and bubbly.


All in all, dinner was pretty good last night 🙂

sesame chicken and broccoli casserole plated

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Old-Fashioned Hot Water Chocolate Cake

This was my Great-Aunt Lib’s chocolate cake recipe, and for every birthday, my mom would make this delicious cake – unless I asked her to make a red velvet. It’s always been a toss-up between these two types recipes for me – I love them both equally. But sometimes you just want good, old-fashioned chocolate flavor, and this recipe fits the bill.

I’ve made this cake so many times over the years that my poor recipe card is stained and extremely faded, so I decided it was time to bring this recipe into the digital age so that I could have a copy that I could actually read 🙂 It’s a good thing I know this recipe by heart, because if I didn’t, there’s no way I could read this well-used recipe card.

I always frost this cake with my grandmother’s butter frosting. Again, I have an old recipe card that has seen better days. Now I’ve got an online copy to refer to whenever I need it, and you can enjoy these favorite family recipes.


hot water chocolate cake


Aunt Lib’s Hot Water Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup butter (not margarine), softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 cup boiling water

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup good cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon good vanilla


In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar until combined. Add in the eggs, and beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Add the milk. Mix just until the mixture looks curdled.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, blending slowly and thoroughly. Add the boiling water and the vanilla, and mix until smooth; no more.

Pour cake batter into a buttered baking pan (9 x 13-inch square or 2 round cake pans). Run a spatula through the batter to help eliminate any air bubbles.

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool before frosting.


People usually fall into three categories when it comes to frosting: none at all, middle of the road and give me the bowl of frosting and skip the cake. My brother-in-law is the last type – the more frosting you can pile on top of a cake, the better he likes it. Me, I’m a middle of the road person. I like just enough where I can taste it, but I still want to taste the cake.

My grandmother made a butter frosting, and this is the only frosting recipe I like to use on my hot water chocolate cake. They just go together because that’s how my family has always done it. I’ve tried different frosting recipes with this cake, but I always come back to this one. Grandma knew best.


Grandma Decker’s Creamy Butter Frosting

1/3 cup butter (not margarine), softened

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 egg white, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons good vanilla

In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and the salt. Gradually mix in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. Add the egg white and vanilla, and beat mixture until smooth. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, adding by 1/2 cup at a time, beating until smooth and creamy. If frosting becomes to thick, you can add 1/2 teaspoon water until it becomes creamy.

Chocolate Variation: Using the above frosting recipe, reduce the powdered sugar to 2 cups, and add in 1/2 cup good cocoa powder when you add the sugar to the recipe.


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Baked Mexican Goulash

Are you the kind of cook that looks through your pantry and wonders what could I make with these ingredients? If you are, you’ll appreciate this recipe for Mexican Goulash. I’d been working hard writing and editing, but I still had to put something on the table for dinner. I knew I had ground meat. I knew I had dried pasta. My pantry is full of seasonings and canned goodies. But I had no ideas running through my head.

When I get like this, I usually do one of two things: Italian or Mexican. Since I had more Mexican-themed ingredients on hand, including home-canned chili beans, that’s the way I went. The ingredients can obviously be changed to include things you have on hand in your pantry, and amounts are approximate. This is a throw-it-together-quick casserole that comes together quick for those busy nights, and you can top each serving with shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole or taco sauce if you prefer.


mexican goulash


Baked Mexican Goulash

1 box dried macaroni or rotini pasta

1 pound ground beef

1 envelope taco seasoning

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 pint chili beans

1/2 cup salsa

1 small can sliced black olives

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole and taco sauce (optional)


Cook dried pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, brown the ground beef until no longer pink; drain. Return the browned beef to the skillet, and add the package of taco seasoning according to the package instructions. Cook for a few minutes to incorporate the seasoning into the meat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, ground beef mixture, tomatoes, chili beans and salsa. Stir to thoroughly combine. Pour pasta mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Evenly spread the sliced olives over the top of the pasta. Top the casserole with the shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely brown on top and the casserole is bubbly. Top each serving with shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole and taco sauce if desired.

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Caramel Apple Braid

Cody’s girlfriend asked if she could commandeer my kitchen over Valentine’s weekend to make her caramel apple braid. Since I love homemade bread in any way, shape and form, I certainly wasn’t about to say no to such a gift. I’ve always wanted to try making a braided bread recipe, and while I didn’t actually make this one, Katrina was kind enough to share the site where she found the recipe.

The original post can be found on Completely Delicious, and the blog post shows step-by-step instructions on how to make and assemble this delicious recipe. The type of apples you use really makes or breaks this recipe, so go for ones that are full of flavor. Katrina used Granny Smith apples, and their tart flavor works perfectly with the sweet, gooey caramel. Be sure to bake this braid on some parchment paper, as the caramel will ooze out during baking. If that happens, just spoon that caramel over the top of the slices to serve – heaven forbid you waste perfectly good caramel! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did – and Katrina – you can commandeer my kitchen any time 🙂


apple caramel braid whole

apple caramel braid slice

For the bread:

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water
  • ½ cup (120 ml) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (56 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3½ cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2¼ teaspoon (1 envelope, 7 grams) active-dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water), for brushing
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

For the filling:

  • ½ cup (105 grams) brown sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and sliced

To make the dough:

  1. Combine the water, milk, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When butter is completely melted, remove from heat and cool for about 5 minutes (to 120-130 degrees F).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment (you may also use a large bowl and mix by hand with a wooden spoon), combine 1½ cups flour with the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and yeast. Add the liquids and mix until combined. Add the egg.
  3. Add the remaining flour ¼ cup (30 grams) at a time until dough clears the bowl and is still sticky to the touch without coming off on your hands. Continue kneading dough with either the dough hook or by hand until dough is smooth and elastic, about 7-10 minutes.
  4. Put dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Let rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.

To make filling:

  1. While the bread is rising, combine the brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Bring to a boil and let simmer until thickened, stirring frequently, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  2. Let cool to a spreadable consistency. If the caramel becomes too hard, return it to medium low heat to melt it a little before spreading it on the dough.

To prepare the braided loaf:

  1. Gently punch down dough to release gases and knead by hand a few times. Let sit for a few minutes.
  2. Roll dough out on a clean surface to about 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Divide dough in thirds lengthwise and cut 1-inch strips crosswise down the length of the outer thirds.
  3. Spread the cooled caramel in the center third. Top with the sliced apples. Fold the cut strips over the filling at a diagonal, alternating side to side.
  4. Brush the loaf with the egg wash. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise while oven preheats to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Some of the caramel may ooze out during baking. Let cool on pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack or serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar.


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Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

Winter weather is super harsh on my skin. I have very dry skin to begin with, and when it gets cold and windy like it has been the past few days, my skin takes a beating. I think I’ve used every lotion and potion you can buy at the local drug store and have even tried a few prescription concoctions along the way, but what I’ve found that works the best for me is something I can make myself from ingredients I already have at home: coconut oil, sugar and essential oils.

I made the switch to using coconut oil in my baking a couple of years ago, and I also use it to make homemade lip balms and soaps. This time I decided to use coconut oil in a sugar scrub for my dry skin. Coconut oil is extremely hydrating – you can use this as a simple moisturizer straight out of the jar if you like. Good coconut oil is becoming easier to find these days too – even my local grocery store carries a good brand, and that’s saying something for a small town grocery store in a town that has roughly 3,200 people.

Making a sugar scrub is super easy to do. In the wintertime, coconut oil is generally in solid form, which makes it great for this recipe. However, since we heat with wood, our house tends to be a bit warmer than most in the winter, and thus my coconut oil is in a semisolid state. That doesn’t hurt the scrub a bit, but it does make it runnier, almost more of a lotion consistency that’s grainy because of the sugar.

You can use whatever essential oils you like in this scrub. Citrus makes a great scent to use in a scrub, but since I may use this sugar scrub on my face, I decided against using any citrus essential oils. Instead I used a combination of frankincense, myrrh, geranium and rose, all of which are great for dry skin. Use your favorite oils based on your skin needs, or simply choose a fragrance you enjoy.

coconut oil sugar scrub and EO box


coconut oil sugar scrub


Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon (about 50 drops) of your favorite essential oil


Combine all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store scrub in a glass jar for up to 6 months.

To use: Rub sugar scrub over hands, feet, elbows, face or wherever you have dry skin patches. Rub for 30 seconds, and then rinse off the scrub with lukewarm water. Pat dry. The oil will soak into your skin, making it feel silky smooth.

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Ham and Split Pea Soup

The only good thing about winter, in my opinion, is the fact that I can make soup whenever I want. It’s the perfect meal on a cold night, and I can get away with only dirtying one pot plus a couple of utensils and a cutting board. It makes dinnertime easy with few dishes to clean up afterwards.

I had some leftover ham in the fridge, and instead of making a potato and ham casserole, which I often do with my leftover ham, I decided to make some ham and split pea soup. The ham was simply leftover ham steak, but if you have smoked ham hocks, they are delicious in this recipe. After a trip to the Stringtown Store in Kalona a few weeks ago, I came home with split peas and other dried goodies, so it was time to use up the peas.

While most soup recipes include celery, I didn’t have any on hand tonight, but you can definitely add a couple stalks of chopped celery to this soup. Just saute the celery with the carrots and the onions at the beginning of the recipe. I also happen to love garlic, and whenever I see onion added to a recipe, I generally toss in a couple cloves of garlic. If your family isn’t crazy about garlic like mine is, you can leave it out, but garlic definitely adds another level of flavor to this soup.

This soup comes together pretty fast, as all you do is chop, saute and let everything simmer together until the peas, potatoes and carrots are nice and soft, which takes about 45 to 50 minutes to happen.


ham and split pea soup in bowls 2


Ham and Split Pea Soup


Extra-virgin olive oil

Half an onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced

3 cups diced ham (or use a couple of meaty ham hocks)

2 cups diced potatoes (I leave the skins on for, but you can peel them)

8 cups chicken stock (homemade is best, but Kitchen Basics makes a good unsalted version)

Fresh thyme sprigs

Freshly ground black pepper


In a large stockpot, generously drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil. On medium-high heat, saute the carrots, celery and onions for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and saute an additional minute, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, diced ham, split peas, potatoes and a couple fresh thyme sprigs. Generously grind some black pepper into the soup, and stir to combine.

Let the soup simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the peas are soft. Stir, mashing the mixture against the side of the pot to create a bit of pea puree. Season to taste with salt and additional pepper, if necessary.

ham and split pea soup in pot 2


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Ham, Cheese and Spinach Quiche

I absolutely love breakfast and the variety of things you can make to eat. When we go out for breakfast, I typically order the same thing – an omelette loaded with as many goodies as they can stuff in there – but at home, I like to vary things up by making biscuits and gravy, quick muffins and even make-ahead French toast casseroles. One thing I’ve never tried, though, is a quiche, which is really odd when you think that everything I usually put in a breakfast casserole can be found in a typical quiche recipe. The only difference is the pie crust replaces the bread in the casserole.

I looked online at various ham and cheese quiche recipes, and since I already had some fresh spinach that needed to be used, I decided to make my own recipe by adding in additional veggies I had on hand. The inspiration for this quiche comes from What The Fork Food Blog, and then I just added the spinach and onions. You could change up the recipe to whatever leftovers you may have in your refrigerator – replace the ham with some cooked sausage. Change up the cheddar cheese to Swiss, which would pair nicely with ham and bacon. If it’s spring, throw in some fresh asparagus instead of spinach (I plan to try this when our asparagus patch is ready). Whatever combinations you try, you’ll end up with a tasty dish for breakfast or brunch. Or have this for an easy dinner. We paired it with French Onion Soup and some garlic bread – tasty way to eat quiche 🙂


ham, cheese and spinach quiche whole 2


Ham, Cheese and Spinach Quiche

1 9-inch pie crust (already blind baked for about 10 minutes)

1 cup diced ham

4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1/4 cup diced onion

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add the diced ham and bacon to the partially cooked pie crust, spreading evenly across the bottom. Add the diced onion and chopped fresh spinach on top of the meats.

In a small bowl, toss the cheese and flour together so the cheese is coated, and sprinkle this over everything in the pie crust.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, the milk and the pepper. Pour mixture over the meat, cheese and veggies. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 50 minutes. When done, the middle will still be slightly jiggly, which will set up as it sits. Let the quiche sit for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


ham, cheese and spinach quiche half


ham, cheese and spinach quiche slice 2

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Kitchen Sink Cookies

You’ve probably seen recipes online for cookies that have a little bit of everything in them. Well, this is one of those recipes. I’ve named it Kitchen Sink Cookies because they have pretty much anything you can put in them except for the kitchen sink. While I love a good traditional chocolate chip cookie or a soft oatmeal raisin cookie, these Kitchen Sink Cookies rank right up there with my favorites. This recipe doesn’t make a huge batch, but the recipe can be doubled easily if you want to make a lot. Add in some raisins in you like, or switch out the pecans and substitute chopped walnuts.

kitchen sink cookies

kitchen sink cookies 2

Kitchen Sink Cookies

1 large egg

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (not margarine), softened

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick cook or instant)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

3/4 cup cornflakes cereal

3/4 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans


To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg, butter, sugars and vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt. Beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours (can make the day ahead and refrigerate overnight). This helps keep the dough from spreading when baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drop dough by tablespoons (or use a medium-sized cookie scoop) onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking oil, placing the dough mounds 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges have set and the tops are set. The cookies will firm up as they cool.

Cookies will keep for about a week at room temperature in an airtight container. These also freeze beautifully, and they can be frozen and used within 6 months.

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies

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